Saturday, July 10, 2010

Greedy Journalists sell out Ed Reed


Sensationalism is defined as: Arousing or intended to arouse strong curiosity, interest, or reaction, especially by exaggerated or lurid details.

If sensationalism was a glass slipper, the local sports media would have many Cinderellas.

It's interesting how some media members will pluck out a 15 second snippet from a 10 minute interview, take it out of context, let it stand alone and then make it a damning headline or sound bite.

Such is the case with Ed Reed's recent comments regarding a new contract with the Ravens.

I guess you have to conjure up controversy sometimes during the NFL dead zone days - worse when you have a baseball team drenched in public apathy and an egomaniacal NBA star on the loose.

On one hand, Ravens fans should be happy to hear that Reed is even thinking about a new contract. Indirectly that is an outward expression of his love for the game of football and the team's burgeoning potential. That said it is a bit surprising coming from a player who has openly contemplated retiring for the past two off seasons.

After talking to folks who know Reed personally, they describe him as a caring man who is genuinely interested in the community. He cares about the citizens and its youth. I can recall several days during past training camps when Reed would stand for hours on end and sign autographs for kids AFTER practicing in sweltering conditions.

One could conclude that it is Reed's passion for the game and community, his commitment and sense of loyalty to them combined with his physical ailments that result in the mercurial, Cybil-like persona that the public sees.

Good friend Samari Rolle whose career ended because of a similar nerve impingement is ear banging Reed, recommending retirement to the 6-time All Pro. Mix that in with his competitive juices and an elusive ring that seems more attainable now than ever before and welcome to the state of confusion.

Wouldn't you be torn about your future if placed in a similar situation?

Making matters worse is the rehab following surgeries. I'm told it is not only physically taxing, but arguably even more draining mentally.

Some close to Reed describe him as an impatient guy. No surprise there. His on-the-field tendency to gamble and take unnecessary risks supports the description. Maybe that too adds to the Jekyll & Hyde aspects of his interviews.

Might it not be safe to say then that the new "contract demands" really are the byproduct of a highly skilled but conflicted athlete?

The Ravens aren't going to give Reed a new deal in light of the injury concerns and the threat of retirement. The Ravens had to take cap hits when Jon Ogden and Steve McNair retired. When the new CBA is struck, make no mistake about it, the cap will return.

If these media guys looking for a headline would listen closely, it appears that even Reed doesn't think he's deserving of a better deal than the current one with 3 years and $19.7 million remaining.

"I'm not going to ask the Ravens about anything if I'm not going to play any much longer," Reed said. "I appreciate the opportunity that the Ravens have given me. I'm not about to ask them for anything if I'm not going to be playing. My focus is to get myself back. I'm coming back for at least for one more year."

I guess a headline such as, "Reed returning for at least one more season" doesn't sell as many newspapers, invite as many sports talk callers or website hits as, "Reed wants a new contract."

How misleading.

How shameful.

That's sensationalism.

Sometimes you just have to Reed between the lines.

6 comments :

Dan Rather said...

SPOT ON!

Thanks for the clarification, particularly for your peers that need it.

Anonymous said...

Agreed with your comments, but with that being said, Ed Reed shouldn't even begin talking or mentioning the word contract. He has "3" years remaining on his current deal where he is being paid handsomly for his services. I am getting tired of these atheletes who always want to re-do their deals. A contract is a firm and binding document. Teams don't have to do anything and the player HAS TO PLAY or sit out and collect $0. If I owned a team, I would never re-do any contract and let the player sit out a year. How many millions does this guy need?

Jerry B said...

TL: There are way too many journalists today who believe it is their responsibility to "make news", rather than to report it! One well known journalist went so far recently as to state, "It's my job to determine what is newsworthy and report it"! Even that is distorting the responsibility to simply report news, in my opinion. As for Reed, of course it's a good sign that he's thinking long term, but given his current physical condition, ANY discussion of contract extensions/negotiations is a bit premature......

Betsy Green, Bowleys Quarters said...

Thank you for sharing such a nice article with me. Ed Reed is really a special player. He is such a nice person. I have had the pleasure of meeting him several times and each time it's been like he has known me and my grandsons for years. My oldest grandson was in a paintball tournament with him and ended up in a book about Ed Reed. When he sees Michael he stops what he is doing and calls him over to talk. Ed Reed is a special person and player.

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